From the artist:
"For this concept album, the idea was to make new songwriting. All structures were influenced by rock and also by experimental techno and prepared improvisation (which i still don't really enjoy most of the time though). There's choruses, verses, bridges, introductions and endings. They don't appear in the order, all the times, but they are there. The vocals and the lyrics came after. All lyrics were inspired by the instrumental music. It's marvelous to treat human voice like an instrument instead of the driving force behind the music. I'm making the music i have in my head since many years. I hope the excitation, discovery of infinite possibilities can be heard.
"I also tried to associate general concepts of human existence.
"Thanks for listening!"
Recorded and Produced by Vincent Bergeron
Credit pochette (cover) : Vincent Bergeron
1) la naissance - 5:15
2) reve-realite (histoire d'un clown) - 7:26
3) communication-isolation - 11:35
4) spiritualite-profanite - 8:19
5) harmonie-chaos - 7:51
6) passe-present-futur - 8:21
7) la mort (d'un artiste) - 7:37
Thank you for listening to this Webbed Hand Records release. Please visit the WHR homepage to explore our complete catalog of experimental and ambient recordings. All of our music is free to download, but we'd be very grateful if you could make a small donation (via Paypal) to help with the costs of maintaining a netlabel.
From the artist:
"During the composition of this album, these artists influenced my work with their many ideas :
"Alain Bashung, Amon Tobin, Aphex Twin, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Avey Tare And Panda Bear, Beck, Bjork, Boards Of Canada, Bob Drake, Brian Eno, Brian Wilson & Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart, Carla Bley, Cerberus Shoal, Charles Ives, Charles Mingus, Charlie Kaufman, cLOUDDEAD, Craig Taborn, Daniel Belanger, David Lynch, Devo, Disco Inferno, DJ Shadow, Don Caballero, Edgard Varese, Erik Satie, Fennesz, Fiery Furnaces, Frank Zappa, Harmonium, Jarboe & Neurosis, Jean Leloup, Jim ORourke, Joanna Newsom, John Fahey, Joy Division, Julius Hemphill, Kazumi Nikaidoh, Leo Ferre, Louis Sclavis, Marlon Brando, Max Tundra, Mike Oldfield, Mr. Bungle, My Bloody Valentine, Patty Waters, Pere Ubu, Public Image Limited, Kaki King, Kate Bush, Radiohead, Raymond Scott, Rene Lussier, Residents, Rodrigo, Salvador Dali, Serge Gainsbourg, Smiths, Sonic Youth, Sparks, Spring Heel Jack, Stanley Kubrick, Syd Barrett, Talking Heads, Tim Buckley, Tom Waits, Tujiko Noriko, The Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes, Vitamine Bleue"
Here is the text of a very nice review of this album, written by Francois Couture for allmusic.com:
No matter how versed you are in experimental music, I can honestly write that you have never heard something quite like Vincent Bergeron's Casse-tete de l'Existence (Puzzle of Existence). Imagine if you will, plunderphonics coupled with progressive rock; sample deconstruction and sound collage as techniques to assemble hiccupping operas. What Bergeron does is rip samples from every possible source, including but not limited to records of free improvisation, musique concrete, contemporary music, folk music, and world music. He slices and dices them into tiny pieces, then, like a mosaic artist, glues these tiny pieces together into jagged but very well structured songs, for which he writes lyrics and melodies. To make sure that the vocals fit in with the rapid-fire claudicating style of the music, he also chops up and reassembles his voice. Since he sings in a half operatic, half mock-theatrical voice, and his music is rich in strings, percussion breaks and certain grandeur, the result sounds a lot like a bloodbath at a prog rock convention Â or the digital bastard child of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis and FantÃ´mas. "La Naissance," for instance, is mostly a reorganized string quartet with a stuttering lead melody strongly reminiscent of French prog rockers Ange, while the main source for "Spiritualite-Profanite" seems to be Alain Stivell fighting back a fit of Parkinson's with his Celtic harp. On the other hand, "Reve-Realite" contains a lot of free jazz samples (including some Art Ensemble of Chicago and Sun Ra, among many other things). If the basic material tends to give a unique orientation to each piece, it seems there is no limit to what Bergeron can make his samples do. Profoundly disturbing but ceaselessly fascinating, Casse-tete de l'Existence is oddness to the umpteenth degree. Obviously, the world is not ready for this. The album is available for free from the net label Webbed Hand.
June 24, 2009 Subject:
long time favorite
i downloaded this album when i first discovered it, and though it took me a while to 'get' it, i began to love it as a truly unusual release, and appreciated how different it was from the rest of the WH catalogue (which of course i like as well). now, a few years later, I am suddenly drawn back to this album, after many changes in taste and personal musical direction, and i find that it still sounds fresh and exciting, it reminds me of things the way they were then, and seems to fit my life again anew. bravo!
"there's no canada like french canada!
if you lived there a day you'd understand"
February 10, 2007 Subject:
n'ai-je pas un cul comme les autres?
nous allons périr
remy je t'aime
May 2, 2006 Subject:
Just the thing.
It would be a mistake for me to call Casse-tete de l'Existence "required listening." Part of the beauty of this music is that it is thoroughly voluntary.
It's also in French, and kind of weird. I think it's lovely, but I would. It has a bit of that "backstage at the symphony" ambiance to it, plus a touch of the country cafe. Knowing French might help me make more sense of it, but I'm content listening to it without sense.
The phrase "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Teapot" comes to mind listening to track four, "Spiritualite-Profanite." Make of that what you will.
So go download it now, or not. As you like.
February 9, 2006 Subject:
Finding the right audience...
Excellent, challenging piece of unclassifiable music. If you enjoy 5 or more artists listed as influences for this release, chances are you will be able to appreciate the abstract feel (I love beefheart and bungle!)
Just needs a little Tilt-era scott walker or early Diamanda Galas to the mix for it to be an album guaranteed to warp the synapses of the brain, but that's just personal taste. In all, give it a try if you are tired of cliches and want music with a surrealist edge, for disappointment will be unlikely.